Georgia football coach Mark Richt was given a two-year-contract extension and had his salary raised $800,000 a year by the UGA Athletic Association in a specially-called meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Richt’s previous contract, which paid him $3.2 million per year, was due to expired after the 2017 season. The new deal — which calls for a $4 million annual salary — will end after the 2019 season. No other contract details were immediately available.
“We are very pleased with the direction of our program under Mark’s leadership,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity. “Mark and his staff are making significant strides in all areas of our program, and we look forward to great things in the years to come.”
On Jan. 2 McGarity sent out a letter to Georgia’s top financial contributors praising Richt and his staff the win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl and their 10-3 season amid adverse situations all season. Georgia ended up ranked No. 9 in the final polls of the 2014 season. That means the Bulldogs have finished among the nation’s top 10 in one of the postseason poll in eight of his 14 seasons as their head coach.
Due to the continued influx of money into the SEC and the subsequent redistribution in the form of coaches’ salaries, Richt had fallen from being one of the top five-paid coaches in the league in pay to 12th. Now he is tied with South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier for fifth in the SEC, according to 2014 salary figures.
That’s one spot behind Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, who was raised to $4.3 million after this past season. Alabama’s Nick Saban, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and LSU’s Les Miles occupy the top three spots.
“I appreciate the confidence that Greg McGarity has in the direction of our football program and how we represent the University of Georgia,” Richt said. “Our staff has an outstanding work ethic and we are committed to the development of our student-athletes on and off the field.”
Richt is just the latest Georgia football coach to have his deal sweetened in 2015. The payroll for the Bulldogs’ nine assistant coaches have increased by well over $1 million dollars since the end of the 2014 season.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt received a $450,000 raise to $1.3 million after he entertained at least three competitive offers after the season. After offensive coordinator Mike Bobo left to become head coach at Colorado State, Richt hired Brian Schottenheimer of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams to replace him. Schottenheimer’s $950,000 salary represents a $375,000 increase over Bobo’s. In turn, Richt hired Rob Sale from McNeese State as offensive line coach and will pay him $100,000 more than Georgia was paying his predecessor Will Friend.
Also, Richt made defensive line coach Tracy Rocker an associate head coach and elevated running backs coach Bryan McClendon to assistant head coach. Those promotions also came with raises.
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